Discovering Montana's Cold Smoke: A Candid Chat with Outdoor Creative, Cinematographer & Skier, Leo Corrales

Published:
March 24, 2024

Continuing our tradition of featuring passionate athletes who are reshaping their communities, we are excited to introduce Leo Corrales, the newest addition to Juniper Cannabis' athlete team. At 24 years old, this Sun Valley, Idaho native embodies the true spirit of outdoor enthusiasm, embracing all Montana has to offer to pursue his love of skiing. 

Continuing our tradition of featuring passionate athletes who are reshaping their communities, we are excited to introduce Leo Corrales, the newest addition to Juniper Cannabis' athlete team. At 24 years old, this Sun Valley, Idaho native embodies the true spirit of outdoor enthusiasm, embracing all Montana has to offer to pursue his love of skiing. 

Meet Juniper Cannabis' Newest Addition to the Local Athlete Team: Leo Corrales 

Born and bred in the mountains of Sun Valley, Idaho, 24-year-old Leo Corrales is now a vibrant part of the snow-loving community of southwestern Montana. 

Growing up in Idaho instilled a sense of adventure at a young age as he followed his dad mountain biking and his mother exploring in the woods. Most weekends were spent jumping in alpine lakes, playing in the dirt, and running wild with his friends. Connecting with Idaho’s wild landscapes at a young age created a sense of reciprocity with the natural world, and a deeper sense of meaning and purpose. The natural world and humans are inextricably intertwined, and spending time in wild spaces helped Leo fully grasp this path. These foundational experiences in Idaho have shaped his personal endeavors and professional career for years to come as outdoor experiences continue to be at the forefront of Leo’s ambitions.

Leo's journey with Montana began two years ago. The promise of abundant snow and an enthusiastic, nature-loving community drew him in quickly. He was seeking a place where he could ski to his heart's content and be surrounded by an eclectic community of outdoor enthusiasts. For Leo, so much of outdoor adventure is rooted in a sense of community. Sharing the triumphs, failures and everything in between with those who deeply care about the same is a key factor of Leo’s mountain lifestyle. Southwest Montana has graciously opened its arms and heart to Leo as he continues to live a rich, vivid life alongside the ski bums of Big Sky. 

How has skiing influenced your connection to Montana?

“Skiing has everything to do with why I love Montana! I can commit all of my time and energy into skiing with new friends, in new zones, and creating media that reflects this passion. The incredible variety of terrain at Big Sky, Bridger, & backcountry has a mythical allure that draws me in further and further every year. The community i’ve developed through skiing has turned into deeply rooted family.”


The Process of Finding the Juniper Team

We first had the pleasure of meeting Leo at one of our Bozeman events called Local Disposables. Local Disposables is one of Juniper Cannabis' signature community events, that focuses on local creatives, community and the opportunity to see Montana through a new lens. For each event, we ask  Bozeman to nominate their favorite photographers to compete in a Film Camera contest and photo show– that’s how we met Leo. He showed up with a roll chocked full of heart, adventure and creativity.

Fresh Tracks in Montana

With his immense love for skiing and the community, Leo's ripple extends far past pure sport. Through his work as an outdoor creative, cinematographer and ski instructor, Leo aims to to cultivate the stoke, wonder, and simplicity of outdoor adventure through visual media. Through instruction at Big Sky Resort, Leo passes the torch to the next generation of skiers and snow enthusiasts by connecting playfulness on skis with true joy. Nothing brings a wider smile to his face than a child who’s truly discovered the wonders of soft snow. 

Leo’s creative career is diverse. Starting out as an assistant cameraman for Dark to Light Productions in Idaho, he learned the basics of creative production and ignited a spark within. This initial spark led to education opportunities through the Rocky Mountain School of Photography and National Geographic Photojournalism workshops. Throughout the years, he’s worked as Director of Photography on TV commercials, non-profit fundraising films, eCommerce photo shoots, and plenty more. Using his extensive outdoor experience, Leo has also been embedded on horseback, backcountry Elk hunts deep in the Wilderness of Idaho. Currently, Leo loves to create outdoor lifestyle projects of skiing, fishing, hunting, mountain biking, and everything else natural. 

Leo’s professional work isn’t his only creative outlet. His personal work often focuses on outdoor adventure, but also visually explores the culture and energy of his international travels. Visiting his Father’s extended family yearly in Costa Rica growing up, he has a deep sense of Latin American Heritage. International experiences at a young age were quite influential, and has inspired Leo to continue his own personal travels in Latin America, Asia, and Africa.  He also combines an academic background with visual storytelling to explore environmental politics around the world. Leo consistently works to diversify his visual storytelling abilities and pushes himself to stay curious & explore the world through his own lens. 

"Nature is not a just backdrop. It's a character, a director, and a request for us to engage, appreciate, and protect. I aim to catch those captivating moments that ignite our adventurous spirit, hoping to cultivate a greater respect for our shared world."

 - Leo Corrales

Leo Corrales Media is home to his personal & professional creative portfolio. Additional creative can be found on his Instagram as well.

Leo Corrales, the creative & welcoming winter athlete of Juniper Cannabis, and his journey in Montana is a story of passion and commitment for the sport and community of skiing that extends into a great narrative of the outdoors and how we, as humans belong in it.  

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